Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mongolia Brief September 9, 2014 Part III



Stock exchange news for September 9
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Tuesday, a total of 15 thousand and 847 shares of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT six million 125 thousand and 661.30.

"Merex” /9,020 units/, “Genco tour bureau” /5,549 units/, “Tavantolgoi” /500/, “State Department Store” /361 units/ and "Arig gal” /206 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Tavantolgoi” (MNT two million and 600 thousand), "Talkh chikher” (MNT 872 thousand and 900), "Merex” (MNT 811 thousand and 960), "Arig gal” (MNT 473 thousand and 800) and "Genco tour bureau” (MNT 466 thousand and 366).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 625 billion 950 million 853 thousand and 393. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,948.34, increasing 243.23 units or 1.55% against the previous day.

Press release: Oyu Tolgoi Named Best Social Insurance Contributor for 2013
September 8 (Oyu Tolgoi) Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - Today, the director of the Social Insurance Agency, Ts.Urtnasan, congratulated and awarded the commemorative trophy and certificate of honour to Oyu Tolgoi LLC which was selected as the best social insurance contributor for the year 2013.
He said at the awards ceremony - "The Social Insurance Agency has selected the best companies which made the largest contribution to the social insurance fund according to many criteria, and 11 of these companies were named the best social security contributors. In recognition of their achievements we placed their company flags and logos in the front of our office. Today, we are awarding the commemorative trophy and certificate of honour to one of these best companies."
Best social insurance contributor’s certificate of honour says that the company was recognised by the Social Insurance Agency for proper and lawful calculation of social insurance premiums and their prompt payment without any delays and debts and for crucial contribution to ensuring social security of the insured employees.

Mongolian script calligraphies showed in Australia
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) Mongolian artists D.Battomor, D.Ganbaatar, L.Tuvshinjargal and B.Odontuya are mounting their pieces of Mongolian script calligraphy in the “Brush and Ink” Asian calligraphy exhibition which opened September 6 in the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide.
Apart from Mongolians, the exhibition is being participated by calligraphists from Japan and China.
B.Odontuya has run training on features of the Mongolian calligraphy and gave the attendees calligraphy pieces. Our calligraphists are showing their creations named “Mongolian shaman’s ritual on Mongolian horse”, “Sky, nomad and earth”, “Mongolian pride”, “Vast”, “Under the eternal sky” and others. 
Some 150 Australians have visited the exhibition so far. It will be open until March of 2015.  
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Oil & Oil Shale Mongolia 2014 kicks off on Wednesday
September 9 (news.mn) Oil & Oil Shale Mongolia 2014 International Investment Conference will kick off in Ulaanbaatar, on Wednesday, September 10th. The two-day conference will bring together oil experts, representatives from the private sector, and foreign investors. The conference aims to become a platform for discussion on the improvement of the legal environment for oil and oil shale, in particular, the Petroleum Law of Mongolia. Participants will exchange views on tax issues in the oil sector, social concerns and the latest technology in the field. Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, Mining Minister D.Gankhuyag are among the key speakers.
The Oil & Oil Shale Mongolia 2014 International Investment Conference will kick off at Tuushin Hotel on Thursday.

Ts.Bat released on bail
By B. Khash-Erdene
September 9 (UB Post) Police to reinvestigate Bat’s defamation case
Aviation engineer and blogger Ts.Bat, who was sentenced to 100 days in a penitentiary on defamation charges against Transport Minister A.Gansukh on August 19, was released on bail on Tuesday morning, after an appeals court called for a reinvestigation of the case.
Culture and Sports Minister Ts.Oyungerel, Ts.Bat’s sister, told the UB Post, “His lawyer just gave me the good news. He said that the case will be reinvestigated and that [Bat] has been released on bail.”
Ts.Bat’s first tweet after his release, stated, “If engineer is brave, minister will s**t in his pants.”
“A country where the people are not allowed to criticize their leaders and only commends them is called the Democratic Republic of Korea. Mongolia mustn’t be like them. Revolution hasn’t ended yet,” said Ts.Bat, through his Twitter page, @batengineer.
Meanwhile, the Mongolian Twitter community that has been insisting on Ts. Bat’s release congratulated Ts.Bat’s lawyer O.Altangerel, after he announced his client’s release.
Before the trial, O.Altangerel tweeted, “Greetings to a day when Bat should be released. Hope to bring good news today.”
Ts.Bat also thanked the preliminary court for underlining a threat to democracy by imprisoning him for defamation.
“Thank you preliminary court. Through your mistake, Mongolians were able to see and evaluate the threat to democracy,” he tweeted.
Minister Ts.Oyungerel has been outspoken against the conviction of her brother and has maintained that imprisonment for defamation and libel cases are a serious threat to democracy and freedom of expression.
Globe International’s Kh.Naranjargal told the UB Post that defamation and libel cases shouldn’t be seen as criminal cases in court.
“In 2011, the UN’s human rights commission advised Mongolia to retract defamation and libel cases from Mongolia’s Criminal Code. We are firmly against the case being tried in criminal court,” Kh.Naranjargal said.
She noted that the case isn’t over and that a new investigation will examine Bat’s claims and accusations made about Minister A.Gansukh on Twitter over the past year and a half.
Minister A.Gansukh could not be reached for comment.
“There is a clause in Mongolian law about deliberate defamation. The investigation will look into allegations made by Bat,” she highlighted. “The police and law enforcement should be looking to find the truth; whether Bat’s claims are true or false. Instead of doing this, they investigated the person who made the accusations.”
Minister Ts.Oyungerel said that her brother’s imprisonment illustrates that there is no protection for whistleblowers in Mongolia and added that she will continue to work towards providing protection for them in the future.

Poor results from EZEN-100
By Ch. Khaliun
September 9 (UB Post) The 100-day economic program EZEN-100, implemented by the government, ended on August 18. People hoped that the program would positively influence the economy and decrease the USD exchange rate. Authorities promised it too, and announced that the major goal of the program was to decrease the exchange rate.
The results are not as people expected, and opposition parties have demanded the resignation of the government and called on them to take responsibility. They have focused on the resignation of Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar. The authorities have successfully protected the government and the Minister, until the end spring session.
During a press conference held in May, D.Erdenebat, Chairman of the Democratic Party of the Parliament, said that if there would not be positive results from EZEN-100, the majority group would call for government accountability.
The results are that the USD exchange rate reached 1,900 MNT and the CNY surpassed 310 MNT, but in a September 8 interview, D.Erdenebat said something completely different. He said, “I always try to find positive sides from all things. The ‘New Government for Changes’ is the most open and businesslike government. We should not judge people’s sole mistakes, but people must have the ability to find and fix their mistakes. Changing the government does not guarantee that new staff will work better. If you are not trying to damage the current government, who have provided vital preparations for important visits and started negotiations, then there is no emergency requiring the resignation of the government.”
According to the opposition parties, EZEN-100 was just a show from authorities to bide time and reach the second anniversary of holding governing power. The Chairman of the MPP parliamentary group, S.Byambatsogt, said, “When the government announced the economic stimulation program EZEN-100, opposition parties did not just sit by and watch, but suggested some projects. They did not listen to us and there are no results.”
Chairman of the MPP M.Enkhbold introduced a conclusion. On May 8, the government approved the 34th resolution on some measures to strengthen and boost the economy. In the framework of EZEN-100, the government was tasked with implementing over 70 projects, but only 34 of 70 projects were started. Opposition parties requested conclusions from the Price Stabilization Program, and if there were no results from the program, they suggested ending it and increasing payments and pension funds by presenting the remainder of the Chinggis and Samurai bonds to the state budget.
During the establishment of the “New Government for Changes” economic growth was 17.5 percent, in 2013 it was 11.7 percent, but according to statistics from May of this year, economic growth surged by 5.3 percent. Inflation increased to 14.9 percent in the last year.
During the EZEN-100 program, commodity prices surged by 21 to 60 percent. As of the July of this year, total foreign investment is just over 500,000 USD. State budget revenue exploded to 440 billion MNT with a deficit of over 160 billion MNT.
These are the results from EZEN-100, according to the opposition parties.

Conflict ignites between crop farmers and Agriculture Ministry over wheat price
By M. Zoljargal
September 9 (UB Post) Crop farmers went on a demonstration last weekend in Darkhan-Uul Province to oppose the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture’s (MIA) unofficial report which stated that Mongolia might have to import Russian wheat instead of using domestic wheat for flour production this fall for financial reason.
Mongolia is expected to harvest 400,000 tons of wheat this year, which is expected to fully meet domestic demand, according to crop farmers in provinces.
Crop farmers are currently busy harvesting before forecasted radical temperature drop, from September 17. They said that stronger demonstrations will be made unless the ministry reviews it’s position and makes a decision that benefits domestic producers.
Farmers will run deficits and some small crop fields might go bankrupt if domestic wheat is wasted.
The Public Communications Division of the MIA told the UB Post that government cannot afford the prices set by farmers. “Importing of wheat is being considered as Mongolian wheat price is set too high, while wheat prices are globally down. We have proposed to pay 500,000 MNT per ton of wheat and if national farmers refuse to sell their wheat at this price, we might have to consider importing wheat from Russia at cheaper costs,” said the MIA.
Farmers said that they have to set higher prices as they took out substantial loans from commercial banks in spring.
Crop farmers were prompted to produce more than the previous year in order to meet domestic demand this year, as part of the ministry’s plan before the resignation former Agriculture Minister Kh.Battulga.
If the ministry decides to import wheat, farmers will face losses as buyers become scarce.
The MIA said that it will make a statement regarding the plan this week with finalized price offers for domestic wheat.

FILA Hall of Fame inducts State Honored Coach A.Baskhuu
By B. Tungalag
September 9 (UB Post) The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) Hall of Fame inducted Mongolian State Honored Coach A.Baskhuu on September 6. The FILA bureau decided to enlist A.Baskhuu during its meeting in June 14.
A.Baskhuu became the ninth referee to be included in the FILA Hall of Fame.
President of FILA Nenad Lalovic, officials of FILA and athletes, coaches and referees who are participating in the World Freestyle Championship participated in the induction ceremony.
A.Baskhuu is the chief coach of all national wrestling teams of the Sports Training Center of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and is the only Mongolian to have served as a referee in six Olympics, 30 world championships, four world cups and 45 European and Asian championships.
He was awarded the Golden Whistle at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and has also received the prestigious FILA Gold Star, the highest honor awarded by the federation in recognition of brilliant referee skills and contributions to the sport.

Hydroelectric power plant coming to Khovd River
By B. Mendbayar
September 9 (UB Post) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Turkey, B.Batkhishig, had a meeting in the Mongolian Embassy in Turkey with General Manager of ZTM Engineering and Consulting Co. Inc. Muslum Gunduz to discuss the hydroelectric power plant that will be constructed on the Khovd River.
During the meeting, Muslum Gunduz noted that the feasibility studies for the hydroelectric power plant will be complete this year, and introduced measures and conditions to raise further investment and financing. In response, Ambassador B.Batkhishig pledged the embassy’s support for synergizing the relevant ministries and organizations of the two countries in order to accelerate the progress of the power plant’s construction.
To be located on the Khovd River, about 40 km from Ulgii soum, the center of Bayan-Ulgii aimag, the hydroelectric power station requires about 160 million USD in funding and will have the capacity to produce 56 megawatts of electricity. Upon building the power plant, Mongolia hopes to fully supply western region aimags with electricity.
ZTM Engineering and Consulting also started creating a master plan for Mongolian hydroelectric power plant development.
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